EVANSTON, Ill. – The Duke men’s tennis team fell, 4-3, to Northwestern on the road inside the Combe Tennis Center Sunday afternoon.
The Blue Devils fell to 3-4 overall, while the Wildcats improved to 2-4 on the season.
In doubles play, the Wildcat number one duo of Nick Brookes and Simen Bratholm defeated juniors Nick Stachowiak and Spencer Furman, 6-2. Seniors Catalin Mateas and Vincent Lin regained momentum with a 6-4 court three victory over Antonioni Fasano and Trice Pickens, however, Dominik Stary and Chris Ephron secured the doubles point for Northwestern with a 7-6 win over senior Jason Lapidus and junior Robert Levine on court two.
In singles competition, Levine made quick work on court number five with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Ephron, tying the match up at one. Stachowiak won his fourth number one singles contest of the season with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Stary, giving Duke a 2-1 lead. Northwestern tied the match behind the racquet of Brookes on court two, defeating Furman 6-4, 7-5. Mateas, Lin, and Lapidus all saw their respective courts go into three sets.
Lin pulled out a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 win over Bratholm on court four, giving the Blue Devils a 3-2 advantage. However, the Wildcats tied the match at three after Pickens defeated Lapidus 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, on court six and came out on top on court three, as Fasano prevailed over Mateas 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
“Obviously a tough team loss,” said head coach Ramsey Smith. “We put ourselves behind the eight ball when we dropped the doubles point. We bounced back and competed extremely hard in the singles and just fell a few points short in the end. Credit Northwestern for playing some great tennis.”
Stachowiak, now 4-1 at the number one singles position, finished 2-0 for the weekend, including a top-ten victory over Illinois’ Alex Brown, who is ranked No. 10 in the nation.
“Nick has continued his consistent and solid play at the top of the lineup and picked up another big win today,” said Smith. “And it was great to see Robert and Vinny step up and get us wins as well.”
Duke is back in action Saturday in Lake Nona, Fla., for a primetime matchup between No. 20 Tennessee. The match will be televised on the Tennis Channel, with first serve slated for 6 p.m.